Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Who Goes to Jail? BP CEO or Shrimper

Who Goes to Jail? BP CEO or Shrimper

by Dennis Bernstein

On June 17, after watching BP's oil blowout pollute the Gulf of Mexico for nearly two months, environmental campaigner and fourth-generation Texas shrimp boat captain, Diane Wilson, had had more than enough.

So Wilson seized the only opportunity she may ever have to confront BP chief executive, Tony Hayward, eye to eye, about his "criminal activities" as top dog at the oil giant.

That day, Hayward happened to be giving testimony before the Senate Energy Committee hearings. Wilson, who works with CodePink now, had been on the road and was heading home to Seadrift, Texas, when she heard Hayward would be testifying at the Capitol. "I was coming back to Texas and I found out the CEO of BP was going to be in D.C," said Wilson, in a telephone interview. "I felt compelled to come. I had to see Hayward. I had to. And I did."

But Wilson was not merely planning to be a passive observer, sitting in awe in one of the great deliberative bodies of U.S. democracy.

"I got in and I snuck in some black paint," she said, "and I sat there and waited ‘til he started testifying and then I smeared that paint all over myself, poured it on my hands, and I stood up and told him he should be jailed. He should be jailed, I told him."

"BP is a criminal company that has ignored safety regulations at the health of our oceans and even its own workers," Wilson called out to Hayward and the members of the committee," before she was pounced on by security and hustled out of the hearing room.

"Tony Hayward and BP need to be held accountable for their criminal activities as well as paying every last cent they may have to the families in the Gulf affected by their willful, criminal neglect," she told me, after she was arraigned in federal court on charges stemming from several acts of civil disobedience. "Our message to Obama, and Congress: BP must pay to clean up this mess and our government must move to end offshore drilling and move us into a new century of clean energy."

Now the woman who has been fighting corporate polluters from the Gulf Coast of Texas to Bhopal, India, is facing two years in federal prison and will go before a jury on Aug. 20, which she notes will be "the fourth month anniversary of the oil spill.

"And that's when I'll go to trial for, can you believe, doing unlawful conduct?"

In the Heart of Seadrift

Wilson has been facing off with corporate polluters for many years around the world. Then, in 2006, she learned that she lived in the most polluted county in the United States.

READ MORE AT THE LINK:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/07/11-3

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Is the CEO of BP headed for Jail? If you think about it, the CEO of Enron and Worldcom were nabbed but in their minds, they were doing what always made the company money. I think the comments from this blog have an interesting twist on this.



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